Bloomfield Hills library millage passes by large margin

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 5, 2014

Bloomfield Hills — Following a rather slow day at the polls, voters in Bloomfield Hills likely curled up with a good book Aug. 5 after approving the renewal of the city’s contract with Baldwin Public Library for six more years.

Voters were asked on the primary election ballot whether Bloomfield Hills should renew a 0.39-mill contract with BPL to continue utilizing its services. The city originally contracted with the downtown Birmingham library in July of 2011 to provide residents with library services they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

The city reported 975 Bloomfield Hills residents cast a vote in the election, with 69.4 percent of voters, or 677 residents, choosing to renew the contract. That left 30.6 percent of voters, or 298 residents, disappointed with the renewal by the time the polls closed. The city did not report by the Eagle’s press time how many voters cast their ballot by absentee or what percentage of registered voters participated in the election.

The details of the millage proposal were similar to the original contract. In the first year, Bloomfield Hills will pay $278,437.84 to the library, which is around $10,000 more than the original contract to account for inflation. The previous contract was for a span of three years, while the contract approved by voters Aug. 5 will double that time, ending in 2020.

Mayor Patricia Hardy, who also serves as the Bloomfield Hills City Commission’s liaison to the Baldwin Library Board, was informed by the Eagle of the election results and said she was pleased with the outcome.

“That’s wonderful,” Hardy responded. “I compliment the residents of the city of Bloomfield Hills for realizing the treasure they have in their midst.”

Hardy went on to say that it’s been her experience in speaking with BPL that the staff is pleased to have Bloomfield Hills residents as members of the library. Nine percent of the library’s total budget comes from revenue collected by the Bloomfield Hills library millage, and 6 percent of BPL’s cardholder population is made up of Bloomfield Hills residents.

“It’s a mutual admiration society; they want us as much as we want them. What kind of partnership could be better than that? I’m thrilled,” Hardy said.

Had the contract renewal failed, Bloomfield Hills residents would have been left without library services or would have had to seek out another municipal library that would be willing to sell memberships to outside residents, if they so wanted.